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Dutch court rules in Apple/Samsung fight
by Staff Writers
The Hague, Netherlands (UPI) Jan 24, 2012

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A Dutch court has ruled against a request from Apple to ban the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the Netherlands.

The ruling is the latest in an ongoing battle between Apple and Samsung over accusations Samsung copied the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, PC World reported Tuesday.

The Gerechthof's-Gravenhage appeals court in The Hague, considering the design aspect of the Galaxy Tab patent fight, sided with Samsung.

Apple has similar design-related patent cases in several courts around the globe.

However, determining design infringement can be a difficult task, experts say.

Florian Mueller, who blogs about patents, said "the two companies need the courts in various jurisdictions to clarify where Apple's exclusive scope of protection ends and Samsung's freedom to compete begins.

"There's no mathematical formula based on which they could simply agree that Samsung's products are allowed to have a degree of similarity of up to (for example) 70 percent. Instead, they need guidance from judges."

Next week, a Dusseldorf court is expected to issue a ruling that might lift a temporary ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, PC World said.

In a statement, Samsung said it was pleased with the Dutch court's ruling.

"Samsung welcomes today's ruling by the court in the Hague, which affirms the August 2011 ruling that the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is distinctive and does not infringe Apple's intellectual property rights," the company said.

"This ruling again demonstrates that Apple's products simply do not warrant the intellectual property protections that it believes."

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